It's been a busy few months in Springfield. ACLU members and supporters have been working hard - contacting their legislators in Springfield on dozens of bills - fighting back bad ideas, and pushing forward important legislation to protect civil liberties. Here are a few updates on some of the issues we've been working on together:
Discriminating Against Couples with Civil Unions (SB 1123)
Victory! Defeated in Committee 6-7. An amendment to SB 1123 would have permitted religiously-based adoption agencies, acting on behalf of the State of Illinois, to discriminate against couples with a civil union - putting children at risk of being denied the best family placement for them. The ACLU testified and hundreds of ACLU supporters called their senators in opposition to this dangerous bill. Despite this victory, we expect proponents to try again this session. We'll keep you posted.
Regulating abortion out of existence in Illinois (HB 3156)
Victory! Defeated in House. After several months of protests, legislative activity, and thousands of calls and emails by ACLU supporters, HB 3156 was defeated in the Illinois House. Drafted by anti-abortion zealots, the bill would have forced health care providers to build the functional equivalent of small hospitals before providing abortion care including non-surgical, medication abortions.
Transparency in use of surveillance cameras (HB 1948)
Victory! Passed House 110-0. This ACLU initiative would require police agencies that own or have access to video surveillance cameras to disclose to the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority the number of their cameras, and their privacy regulations, if they have any. It would also require the Authority to post this information on its website. It now moves on to the Senate.
Putting Politicians in the Doctor's Exam Room (HB 786)
Victory! Not called for a vote. As part of the effort to shut down abortion care in Illinois, HB 786 would have forced women seeking abortion to view an ultrasound of their fetus, or attest in writing that they refused. The true intent of the legislation was simply to try to prevent women from having an abortion, even when they have made a fully informed decision that it is in their own best interest to do so. We testified in opposition, and ACLU members and supporters called and emailed against this terrible bill.
We believe the ACLU of Illinois' legislative team is the best in the business - because YOU have their backs. Thanks for taking action when we call!